tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC February 7, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
>> i'm dan ashley. thanks for watching. hope to see you ag tonight on "world news," a challenge from the president, get in the game. president obama telling big business to get off the piles of cash and start hiring. will it create jobs? digging in. protesters in egypt begin week three in liberation square. a high-profile hero of the demonstration is set free. abc news exclusive, former defense secretary donald rumsfeld, emotional, fiery. why introduce iraq after 9/11? and from missing the words on the national anthem to the contest for the best ad. winners and losers at the super bowl not on the playing field. good evening, and we welcome
you to a new week. it was just a short walk across the street from the white house today, but for president obama it was something of a long, tricky journey two years in the making. for the first time since taking office, he spoke to the u.s. chamber of commerce, the powerhouse of american business and his political adversary. he delivered an urgent message to the companies to get in the game, start spending money and hiring workers throwing down a gauntlet but also trying to build a bridge. jake tapper is at the white house. tell us what happened, jake. >> reporter: good evening, diane. president obama is desperate to get the economy moving again, and as you say, it's just a quick hop across the street to the chamber, but the distance on so many issues between the white house and the chamber of commerce is vast. the temperature was in the 40s when president obama walked to the u.s. chamber of commerce this morning. the reception inside the building was chilly, as well.
>> maybe if we -- if we had brought over a fruitcake when i first moved in, we would have gotten off to a better start. >> reporter: the president may have come in the spirit of being more neighborly, but he was hardly looking to just borrow a cup of sugar. >> american companies have nearly $2 trillion sitting on their balance sheets. >> reporter: spend that money, the president said. >> so if i've got one message, my message is now is the time to invest in america. now is the time to invest in america. and if there is a reason that you don't share my confidence, if there is a reason that you don't believe that this is the time to get off the sidelines, to hire and to invest, i want to know about it. i want to fix it. >> reporter: the president today signaled a new willingness to reconsider regulations that inhibit economic growth. one republican congressman asked businesses to write him with ideas for regulations that should be rescinded. more than 2,000 pages came in pretty quickly. the white house says some of those suggestions are nonstarters. they will not undo, for instance, a 2010 program requiring contractors working on homes, child care facilities and
schools to follow rules designed to prevent lead contamination. but business people such as harold jackson, the ceo of a colorado-based medical supply distributor, say all the new rules and regulations in wall street reform and the health care law are keeping him from hiring. >> a lot of it creates uncertainty. for a business my size, it's very difficult to even keep up with them. you know, you have to hire outside people to advise you on what's going on on the health care law. >> reporter: and, diane, the good news is according to one analyst, the number of planned layoffs is the lowest it's been in 20 years, so if you have a job, you're in less danger of losing it. of course, the bad news is if you're unemployed, job growth is still sluggish. diane? >> okay, jake, thanks to you. and we turn next tonight to the special "world news" interview. former secretary of defense donald rumsfeld finally speaks more than four years after leaving public life addressing questions about two wars started
during his time at the pentagon, wars courageous men and women are still fighting today. he has written a new book, and it makes his case that any perception of american weakness emboldens enemies, and even though he has been out of office four years, at 78 he still has volcanic energy and the demanding style reminiscent of those famous pentagon duels with the press. >> i've answered that question 15 times. >> i don't have any idea who said what you said they said or even if they said what you said they said although i'm quite sure you think they said what you said they said. >> reporter: formidable, combative. the title of donald rumsfeld's memoir "known and unknown" is based on one of his famous lectures to a confounded press. >> as we know, there are known knowns. there are things we know we know. we also know there are known unknowns, that is to say, we know there's some things we do not know, but there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know. >> you were on "saturday night live." >> no, i wasn't.
>> reporter: well. >> not physically. >> remember what i said about your question the other day? >> that it was idiotic? >> that's right. >> i thought he was funny. >> i, donald h. rumsfeld -- >> reporter: the 69-year-old secretary was at the pentagon just nine months on september 11th, 2001. he was in his office when suddenly it seemed to shake. [ sirens ] >> reporter: he raced towards the smoke. >> i came around that corner down there. >> reporter: right. >> and it was -- it was just in flames, in smoke. >> reporter: you can see him there helping them carry the wounded. >> this was the first war of the 21st century. i had to impose a sense of urgency into the department. there wasn't a guide book or a map or some program that said here's how you do this. we had to figure it out. >> reporter: ten years later a central question, why introduce iraq after 9/11 on that very day?
>> people were trying to figure out what had happened, who did it, what was going on. so it was their responsibility to raise those questions. >> reporter: did you drive iraq? >> no. >> reporter: into the conversation? >> no, absolutely not. >> reporter: he says it was the president himself who asked for updated war plans on iraq because iraq had been taunting the u.s. and defying the u.n. on weapons, and after the president's request, the book paints the move toward war as a kind of current that was just gaining momentum. >> it is too late for saddam hussein to remain in power. >> reporter: the president and i had many discussions about war preparations. i do not recall his ever asking me if it was the right decision." no one asked? no one polled the room, said is this the right decision? >> no, the president talked about it and people talked, discuss discussed with him elements of
it, and i didn't feel people saying strongly whether he should or shouldn't. >> reporter: you say it at one point -- >> they say colin powell was against it, but i never even saw the slightest hint of. >> saddam hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction. >> reporter: you believed absolutely categorically saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction? >> i don't do a lot of things categorically. anyone who has been around intelligence gathering knows that it can be wrong. i mean colin powell has been around for -- longer than anybody in terms of -- >> reporter: he said he was devastated. >> of course he was. everyone was, but, my lord, he's the guy who had more experience than anyone else. he worked hard with george tenet, with condi rice. he prepared his speech. he went up to the u.n. he made his case, and he wasn't lying. the idea that he was lying or duped is nonsense. he believed it. our military believed it. our military got chemical weapon suits on to protect them. hillary clinton, john kerry, the french intelligence, the british
intelligence, the german intelligence, it was uniform across the board that it was reasonable to assume that he had chemical and biological weapons. >> reporter: but you were wrong. >> my goodness, the intelligence was certainly wrong. >> reporter: if you had known he did not have them -- >> i didn't know. >> reporter: if you had -- >> i didn't. >> reporter: if you had -- >> i have no idea. i have no idea. what you know today can help you on things you're thinking about tomorrow. it can't help you with things you were thinking about back then. back then there was reasonable confidence that he had these weapons. i also will say that if president bush and i both pressed to have him leave the country at the end, and he wouldn't. i wanted to avoid a war and so did the president. >> reporter: and as we watched them publicly, rumsfeld says we didn't know the president's personal kindness. he writes in the book that two of his three children had
problems with addiction. right after 9/11 he's in the president's office. his son had been struggling with drugs and at times would disappear. the president said you were in tears. >> i think that's right. he -- he reached out and said, you know, tell me about it, and we started talking about it, and it's hard to talk about it because it's a wonderful human being that you love, and you want him to be better, and he is, god bless him. >> reporter: in our interview there are other times donald rumsfeld wept talking about his wife, his father and the fighting spirit of a fallen soldier. but not long after saddam hussein had been toppled, iraq began to unravel. in his book rumsfeld lays the
blame on too many hands on the steering wheel, no coordinated plan. first the president's right-hand adviser in the white house, condoleezza rice -- >> she'd never served in a senior administration position. she'd been an academic and, you know, a lot of academics like to have meetings. every time a big issue got before the president, he was personally willing to make a decision. >> reporter: and secretary powell? >> he did not in my view do a good job of managing the people under him, and there was a lot of leaking out of the state department, and the president knew it, and it was unhelpful, and most of it ended up making the state department look good. we didn't do that in the pentagon. i insisted we not do it. >> reporter: the casualties are mounting. rumsfeld's critics say he was so committed to a lean, pared down fighting force, it suppressed debate about sending in more troops. you write in the book "in retrospect there may have been
times more troops could have been useful." >> it's possible. >> reporter: were you too slow to react? >> oh, maybe. i don't know. >> reporter: do you revisit that? did you say, did that cost lives? >> well, you know, in a war, many things cost lives. >> reporter: rumsfeld insists the generals in the field dictated the number of troops they needed. we pushed again telling him that george w. bush himself had written "cutting troops was a failure." but as the president has written "cutting troop levels too quickly was the most important failure in the execution of the war." >> interesting. yeah. i don't have enough confidence to say that that's right. i think that it's possible. we had an enormous number of troops ready to go in, and we had off-ramps if they weren't needed. it's hard to know. you know, the path you didn't take is always smoother. >> reporter: another thing rumsfeld's critics say, that from the beginning rumsfeld's press conferences seemed to show a man in denial about the danger to come.
>> what plan was there to restore law and order? >> think of what's happening in our cities when we've had riots and problems and looting. stuff happens. >> reporter: you said "i realized i made a mistake." >> oh, once those words come out, sure. what i said was perfectly fining and rational. once you do a bumper sticker, you're asking for trouble. fortunately it's the only mistake i've ever made. no, not quite. >> reporter: you won't even say it's an insurgency. >> no, we were trying to figure out what the right words were. >> reporter: by april 2006. what was called the generals' revolt. six retired generals going public to criticize rumsfeld. >> who didn't lead through intimidation. >> i think he should step aside. >> should someone resign? >> absolutely. >> who? >> secretary of defense. >> reporter: when all those >> reporter: when all those generals came forward -- >> uh-huh.
>> reporter: -- from paul eaton to greg newbold. >> all those. there were a handful of them. come on. >> reporter: they came forward in chorus. >> yeah, they did. i never worked with most of them. in fact, i had not met some of them. >> reporter: and you say this didn't get to you? >> well, no. i mean, it goes with the territory. on the other hand, a general stepped up and said it's not so. >> reporter: what about the accounts that he was so brusque, even frightening to subordinates in the pentagon. when they use those words like micromanaging, terrifying, dismissive. >> oh, the poor people, i terrified them. my goodness. come on. these are people with stars on their shoulders. they're people who are patriots, they're people who have fought battles, and they weren't terrified or intimidated, my goodness gracious. i ask tough questions. no question about it. and if someone doesn't know the answer, it's not fun for them. all they have to do is say i'll find out and i'll sit back and say terrific. >> reporter: the president says he was frustrated sometimes with your abruptness towards military leaders, towards the staff. >> well, you know, it's too bad. he believed, apparently believed the mythology that was
perpetrated in the press. >> my uncle used to work for you. >> reporter: we took the former secretary back to the pentagon. >> how are you? >> doing well, thank you. >> reporter: it's true there were other generals who stood up for him. the former head of centcom, john abizaid said rumsfeld was a great battle buddy. as we walked, we stopped at a corridor. artists' portraits of 300 faces of the many who have fallen. >> all volunteers. each one a different life, a different circumstance. god bless them. >> reporter: back in the interview we asked again about the price and lesson of these long wars. but there are lessons to be learned. >> well, sure. there will be all kinds of people trying to learn the lessons of afghanistan, iraq. war on terror. >> reporter: but everybody is so eager to know what is the lesson you learned about you? >> oh, my goodness. i don't really think that way. i wasn't worried about me. i was worried about the country. >> reporter: and one more time i
asked rumsfeld about the price of long wars. in 1995 i did an interview with another 78-year-old former secretary of defense, robert mcnamara, architect of the vietnam war. voice breaking, mcnamara told me he had concluded that war was wrong. >> i think we were wrong. >> reporter: mcnamara said it was hard to face his mistakes and added this, any military commander who is honest with you will say he's made mistakes which have cost lives. >> well, you're dealing with lives. it is a very difficult thing to ask people to go into battle. >> reporter: hard to live with? >> well -- >> reporter: have you done it? is it hard to live with? >> i have so much respect for the men and women in uniform, that they're all volunteers. they all ask to serve. each one said send me. >> reporter: robert mcnamara said of vietnam, we were wrong. we were wrong. >> well, that's not the case of iraq. >> reporter: we were wrong.
>> that's not the case with iraq. i think the world's a better place with saddam hussein gone and with the taliban gone and the al qaeda out of afghanistan. >> we reached out to general colin powell and secretary condoleezza rice. she said she has no comment, and we're still waiting to hear from general powell. and tonight on "nightline," secretary rumsfeld addresses abusive interrogation methods and what he calls his biggest regret, and he will be live tomorrow on "good morning america," and we'll have more on "world news" tomorrow. still ahead tonight, protesters in egypt settling in. can you believe even a nonsmoking section of the demonstration? and new evidence the fight against childhood obesity can start in the baby's very first months. and we choose our own super bowl winners and losers. can you do the national anthem under pressure? [ male announcer ] how can rice production in india,
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diane. well, it's a new normal in egypt right now. those protesters are still in control of liberation square, but ordinary life in cairo is resuming around them. but the battle-hardened veterans of this protest movement know that victory is not yet theirs, not as long as president hosni mubarak holds power. there he was today appearing on egyptian television almost as if the last two weeks hadn't happened. president mubarak meeting with his cabinet sending an unmistakable message, i'm still here. do you trust mubarak? >> all: no, no, no. >> reporter: out in liberation square today, protestors were settling in for the long haul in their tent city with food distribution, makeshift showers, medical clinics. you're the doctor of tahrir. >> i am a doctor. >> reporter: and here is your office. and they're even talking about dividing up the square into smoking and nonsmoking sections. they believe this is the new
egypt. there are people, young, older. >> yes, yes. >> woman, man. >> reporter: this is the nation here. the regime is reeling but scrambling to pacify the street with concessions over the weekend guaranteeing press freedom, pledging not to block internet access or texting and meeting with opposition leaders including members of the muslim brotherhood. and just days ago, this cairo street was a battleground. now there's heavy traffic again. but some things haven't changed. al jazeera journalist ayman mohyeldin was detained by military police for nine hours yesterday, and he saw firsthand how the regime still responds to dissent. >> people that were sitting next to us that were other people arrested in the crowd, not journalist, they were slapped, they were kicked, they were beaten. >> reporter: late today this protest movement got some very good news.
authorities released wael ghonim. he is a po-year-old google executive, one of the heroes of this revolt. he helped organize this protest movement online. after he was released and was told of the more than 100 deaths in this revolt so far, he broke down and wept and apologized to the families of all who lost their lives. diane? >> terry, it's good to have you reporting for us from the middle east tonight. terry moran. and coming up here, a baby's first food affecting weight later on? weight later on? another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack that's caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots. ask your doctor if plavix is right for you. protection that helps save lives.
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for astronaut mark kelly. kelly, the husband of wounded congresswoman gabrielle giffords, he went back to training for his april shuttle mission and will command the final flight of "endeavour." he had been on leave since giffords was shot a month ago. and up next from the missing words to the missing seats, we take you behind the super bowl buzz. i know what works differently than many other allergy medications. omnaris. omnaris. to the nose! did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i nipped my allergy symptoms in the bud. omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for only $11 at omnaris.com. omnaris combats the cause. osteoporosis treatment-- no big deal. so i have to wait up to an hour just to eat or drink. i've got time to kill. yeah right! i'm a working woman.
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fans today though apparently not thrilling enough for john madden texting, former president bush on a blackberry and ashton kutcher staring into space. but laura bush? winner. she's having fun. and, well, cameron diaz, alex rodriguez and the popcorn. losers, some 400 fans with tickets who couldn't get in because the fire marshal said their seats weren't safe. >> we drove from green bay, wisconsin. >> reporter: another loser, francis scott key. christina aguilera flubbed his "star-spangled banner" singing this twice. ♪ twilight's last gleaming at the twilight's last gleaming ♪ >> reporter: forgetting the ramparts gallantly streaming. if it's any consolation, michael bolton had trouble with the same line. ♪ the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming ♪ >> reporter: sue sylvester loser
on "glee" after the game. >> i hate you, diane sawyer. >> reporter: you don't want to mess with sawyer, or this guy, our favorite winner, max page. how does it feel being in the ad everyone is talking about today? >> well, i mean it's big. it's huge. >> reporter: he's the kid with the force from the vw ad. he's a 6-year-old actor born with a congenital heart defect, but he showed a lot of power. the force is strong with you. the power to make us smile. john berman, abc news, new york. >> it was a great game too. watch out, sue sylvester, watch out. see you all tomorrow./ tonight a hidden tax with comes with federal health care reform. how lawmakers are closing what could be an expensive loophole. >> and a look at what makes the uprising in egypt a young people's revolution. >> the trouble with bounce
houses. tonight why officials in one city are proposing to ban them from public places. many think internet purchases are tax free. why this mistake could cost you thousands of dollars. good evening, you may be in for an unwelcome surprise when you file taxes. >> you may owe more than you thought. a key change in health care reform, a benefit helping young people but may cost their parents. we report on an effort to change that in sacramento. >> the federal health care reform law brought relief for thousands of parents last fall, meant they can continue providing health insurance for adult children up to age 26. judy from sill hi convalley enrolled her 25-year-old daughter on to her husband's plan. it cost more to a